Qnnect designs and manufactures a variety of high-reliability interconnect products, including DC & RF hermetic connectors, as well as headers, feedthrus, windows and vacuum components that are used in extreme environments where superior performance is an absolute requirement.
The interconnect products manufactured by Qnnect are designed to perform two functions: to connect the internal packaging components to external components on the atmospheric side and to ensure outside elements cannot enter into the electronic package.
Generally, the degree of protection varies by the component's design, construction and materials. Environmentally sealed components are designed to stay sealed in relatively benign settings such as underwater or in changing weather. These items offer protection levels that can be defined by an Ingress Protection (IP) Rating standard. For example, an IP 68 rating will not allow the ingress of dust or water at 1+ meter immersion.
Merriam-Webster defines hermetic as ‘being airtight or impervious to air’ and hermetic interconnect products are one of Qnnect’s areas of specialization. But even that seemingly straight forward definition is subject to interpretation, because essentially, no seal is absolutely air tight.
Measuring a components’s leak rate involves forcing helium through a connector in a vacuum environment. The Hermetic Solutions Group typically defines ‘hermetic’ as a leak rate of less than 1×10-9 (0.000000001) cc per second of helium at 1 atmospheric differential pressure. Others consider higher leak rates as high as 1×10-5 hermetic where the Hermetic Solutions Group generally considers anything below 1×10-9 ‘semi-hermetic.’
Hermetic Component Requirements
A high-reliability requirement for a hermetic interconnect product is typically driven by three key factors:
- Risk tolerance: Is repair or replacement in the field risky? Are costly production delays or service disruptions unacceptable? Is the application of a mission-critical nature where failure would be catastrophic?
- Environmental factors: Extremely high or low temperature exposures, high pressure environments, and corrosives.
- Susceptibility of sensitive electronics to: pressure, temperatures and gassing
Our interconnect products are used in defense, aerospace, medical, energy and industrial applications where environmental conditions make an extremely rugged and reliable hermetic seal an absolute requirement. They are hard at work in life-supporting medical devices, oil-drilling tools deep below the earth’s surface, stealth fighter aircraft, and in many other demanding applications.
Qnnect’s approach to hermetic interconnect designs provides maximum versatility which can lower over-all product cost and we offer industry standard as well as unique materials in our manufacturing processes and provides a range of manufacturing capabilities – machining, plating, vacuum brazing, laser welding, and more — across multiple locations. This integrated and multi-facility manufacturing approach can reduce complexity and risk on your next project. We have a talented staff of application engineers with deep experience in developing and manufacturing custom solutions for extreme environments and who are ready to assist you with your next project. Let us know how we can help.
Extreme applications require components that perform flawlessly and retain their original properties even in the harshest of environments. Qnnect’s hermetic connectors, feedthrus, windows, vacuum products and headers can withstand mechanical and thermal stresses that far exceed the limits of most conventional connector solutions.